John F. Kennedy’s inaugural address in January 20, 1961 was a good representation of the enormous amount of things that were taking place in that setting. Kennedy’s inaugural address enlightened America and the world on his goals for his presidency; within his speech he used a form of comparing and contrasting, repetition, and exposition.
Applying these helps Kennedy’s address inspire his audience. Kennedy takes advantage of one of his most prominent strategies, repetition, to emphasize his various points. To drive in the idea of change, Kennedy repeats words like, “to those” or “to our”. Those phrases formally address the old allies, new states, or the sister republics to show respect to them and to also cause each area feel special. By specifically addressing them for the one line, it gives them acknowledgement, which places Kennedy on their good side; also making the respective audiences listen up, like a call to attention. Relating to his main goal of world peace, this strategy elaborates on the definition of “world” by noticing the spots across the globe. “Let both sides” repeats because Kennedy wants to expand the peace part of his goal.
For example, Kennedy utilization of “both” elaborates the unity that he strives for, and the word “sides” refers to sides of the world and sides of “problems which divide us”. With positive change and willingness in his tone, Kennedy invites them to join him. The section states the steps of what they need to do and the positive effects that could come from their unity or the negative consequences that might evolve if the world didn’t form an alliance. Within his repetition were statements that juxtapose positive and negatives ideas of how he will execute his goals, Kennedy’s address conveys his objectives for the future to his audience. His main goal is to get “both sides begin anew the quest for peace…” Kennedy starts off with an idea of positive hope, expressing this by utilizing words like: good, pledge, assist, free, and then “casting off the chains of poverty”.
Those positive words convey Kennedy’s goal to keep peace with the sister republics of the south, relating to his goal of striving for world peace.
However, he then introduces the negative, which comes as a warning. The diction changes and the tone quickly go from conciliatory to authoritative, ”…in a new alliance for progress-to assist men and free government in casting off the chains of poverty. But this peaceful revolution of hope cannot become prey to hostile powers.” Because Kennedy doesn’t believe striving for world peace defines as weak, he provides a warning meanwhile, showing that America still will remain a world power. “But we shall always hope to find them strongly supporting their own freedom…”
To his audience, he warns them “to remember that, in the past, those who foolishly sought power by riding the back of the tiger ended up inside.” From this, the audience can see Kennedy’s goals and his standards for the America future as well as the future for upcoming states and those who will be their ally. The importance of making sure the audience knows Kennedy will not be a weak president, benefits Kennedy because everyone knows a leader of a nation should never be known as weak. In addition to positive and negative statements, Kennedy employs exposition, or logic. Without logic and reasoning, his address wouldn’t be as inspiring.
Kennedy employs exposition to tell America why we can succeed and why we should try to succeed. He remarks, “In your hands” to indicate that America has the power to change and that “the final success or failure of our course” rests in America’s hands more than the Kennedy’s hands. The remarks stand as a representation of teamwork and coming together to achieve Kennedy’s goal of world peace.
Kennedy also observes that striving for freedom is in America’s history, therefore is another reason for America to help out with Kennedy’s goals. “Since this country was founded, each generation of Americans has been summoned to give testimony to its national loyalty. The graves of young Americans who answered the call to service surround the globe.” This gives another fact to the audience, particularly that Americans should help since we are proud of our heritage. To explain that we have responsibility, Kennedy claims that “the trumpet summons us again” and with our power, we should take that responsibility and fight “the common enemies of man.”
Kennedy implements smart wording like “trumpet” because it’s usually associated with nobility; and words like enemies, struggle, and graves to indicate negative consequences or ideas that America needs to fight. Then Kennedy puts even more responsibility on Americans by stating, “only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom” and asking America if they will make history by joining him. Since Kennedy has a position of power and influence, he states that he welcomes the responsibility and he advises other to welcome it, putting more pressure for America to join his change. Kennedy’s address effectively showed his passion for achieving world peace and that he wants the world to join him by employing repetition, juxtaposition, and exposition.
Courtney from Study Moose
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